The latest from Managing Editor Pattrick Smellie

Pattrick was judged New Zealand's best overall columnist and business columnist of the year at the Voyager 2021 Media Awards. He has more than 35 years’ experience reporting and working in New Zealand politics and the commercial sector. A former Press Gallery chairman, he is an award-winning journalist and has worked for titles including The Dominion, The Press, Sunday Star-Times and National Business Review. He was the first NZ correspondent for The Australian and co-founded BusinessDesk in 2008.

Fonterra sets strike price for dividend reinvestment plan
Pattrick Smellie | Thu, 02 Jun 2016

June 3 (BusinessDesk) - Fonterra Co-operative Group has set a strike price for Fonterra Shareholders Fund units of $5.574 for unitholders participating in the dairy processor's dividend reinvestment plan. A final dividend for the last financial year is due for payment on June...

Government sets the bar for Auckland Unitary Plan with urban planning directive
Pattrick Smellie | Thu, 02 Jun 2016

By Pattrick Smellie June 2 (BusinessDesk) - Housing Minister Nick Smith has unveiled the government's biggest weapon yet in its attempts to solve Auckland housing unaffordability, with a National Policy Statement that lets it force local councils into making enough affordable...

Labour's Twyford lays down two crucial tests for govt's urban planning directive
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 01 Jun 2016

By Pattrick Smellie June 1 (BusinessDesk) - The government's imminent National Policy Statement with new directions for urban planning must deal with infrastructure financing and avoid encouraging speculation in undeveloped land, says Labour's housing spokesman, Phil Twyford....

Green Party's Shaw downplays talk of Ohariu electorate stitch-up with Labour
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 01 Jun 2016

By Pattrick Smellie June 1 (BusinessDesk) - Green Party co-leader James Shaw says he has "never discussed the possibility with anyone" of standing for Parliament in the Wellington electorate of Ohariu under a deal to try to displace the National Party's support partner, the Un...

Two Degrees reports $33.1M full-year loss on 43% revenue growth
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 01 Jun 2016

By Pattrick Smellie June 1 (BusinessDesk) - Two Degrees Mobile, New Zealand's third-largest telecommunications company, reported a net loss of $33.1 million for the year to Dec. 31 on 43 percent revenue growth, cracking half a billion dollars of annual turnover for the first t...

New Labour-Greens MoU falls short of coalition
Pattrick Smellie | Tue, 31 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 31 (BusinessDesk) - The Labour and Green parties have signed a memorandum of understanding in which they commit to "work collaboratively to change the government", in a move intended to demonstrate an alternative government-in-waiting while forcing New...

Global mobile marketer VMob oversubscribed in $3.3M local capital-raise
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 30 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 31 (BusinessDesk) - Australian and New Zealand high net worth investors and institutions have stumped up $3.3 million to help mobile marketing platform VMob pursue offshore expansion, particularly in the US. The NZX-listed, San Francisco-headquartere...

Panama Papers: NZ to hasten completion of anti-money laundering regime
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 30 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 30 (BusinessDesk) - The furore over the Panama Papers is hastening completion of New Zealand's anti-money laundering regime, with lawyers and other professionals to be targeted. Prime Minister John Key told his post-Cabinet press conference that a re...

Tiwai Point smelter's earnings plunge in second half of financial year
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 30 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 30 (BusinessDesk) - The Tiwai Point aluminium smelter made an underlying profit after tax of $54 million in the year to Dec. 31, just $2 million less than the previous year's profit, although only $4 million of that was made in the second half of the fi...

RMA reform bill delayed two months as select committee seeks extension
Pattrick Smellie | Mon, 30 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 30 (BusinessDesk) - More than 1,000 substantive submissions and a range of knotty problems thrown up during public hearings have prompted a two-month delay in the report back to Parliament from the local government and environment select committee on re...

Carbon hits $15 a tonne benchmark following Budget ETS decisions
Pattrick Smellie | Fri, 27 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 27 (BusinessDesk) - The price of a tonne of New Zealand carbon in the emissions trading scheme has pushed through $15, creating theoretically breakeven conditions for forestry planting based on carbon farming. Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett co...

BUDGET 2016: Industry’s ETS subsidy axed; $25 a tonne carbon cap remains
Pattrick Smellie | Thu, 26 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 26 (BusinessDesk) - Electricity producers, transport fuel providers and industries with high carbon emissions will lose access to the subsidy that requires them to offset only half their emissions, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett announced in the...

BUDGET 2016: Households, migrants and tourists to keep economy chugging
Pattrick Smellie | Thu, 26 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 26 (BusinessDesk) - Population growth, tourism, construction and low interest rates will underpin a robust economic outlook for the next four years, but the Budget forecasts show little change in growth rates from those forecast in the Budget a year ago...

NZX toughens enquiry process for sudden share price movements
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 25 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 26 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's stock exchange operator, NZX, is to start making confidential enquiries of listed companies that experience large, unexplained share price movements, to determine whether they may be holding undisclosed "material" infor...

AWF Madison full-year earnings fall 3.7% on one-off restructuring costs
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 25 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 26 (BusinessDesk) - Costs associated with unwinding a joint venture in the Christchurch contract labour market contributed materially to AWF Madison reporting a "disappointing" $5.2 million profit for the year ended March 31, compared with $5.4 million...

Economics of Tiwai Point smelter still going backwards, Woodward's Kidd says
Pattrick Smellie | Tue, 24 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 25 (BusinessDesk) - The economics of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter continue to slide despite last week's announcement that it will be the largest single beneficiary of proposed national grid payment reforms, says Woodward Partners energy analyst Joh...

AFT posts loss that meets estimates in maiden result as Australian sales overtake NZ
Pattrick Smellie | Tue, 24 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 25 (BusinessDesk) - AFT Pharmaceuticals, the Auckland-based drug developer, posted a $8.9 million operating loss for the year to March 31, its first result since listing on the NZX and ASX last December, and in line with analyst expectations. Total r...

CORRECT: Two-thirds growth in tourism spending forecast by 2022
Pattrick Smellie | Thu, 12 May 2016

(Corrects reference to growth target in 12th paragraph of story that first moved yesterday) By Fiona Rotherham May 12 (BusinessDesk) - Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett has welcomed new forecasts showing tourism expenditure is expected to grow by 65 percent to $16 bi...

OIO failed to show ministers all 'good character' info on Argentinian brothers
Pattrick Smellie | Thu, 12 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 12 (BusinessDesk) - The Overseas Investment Office had information about the 'good character' of the 2014 Argentine buyers of a 1,317 hectare Taranaki farm but didn't give it to the ministers assessing the application, its parent body Land Information N...

English takes election year tax cuts off the table
Pattrick Smellie | Thu, 12 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 12 (BusinessDesk) - Finance Minister Bill English has all but ruled out income tax cuts in the government's 2017 election year Budget. In his traditional pre-Budget speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, English said the government would prior...

NZ's privacy regime needs teeth, says UN Rapporteur Cannataci
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 11 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 11 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's privacy regime is weaker than many of its international counterparts and needs teeth, the United Nations Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy, Professor Joe Cannataci, told a forum in Wellington hosted by the Office of th...

Reserve Bank looks to new income-based home lending restrictions
Pattrick Smellie | Wed, 11 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 11 (BusinessDesk) - New lending restrictions to prevent people borrowing too much relative to their income are on the cards, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's two most senior officials say. Governor Graeme Wheeler and deputy governor Grant Spencer ma...

Foreign home buyer count figures 'not ideal', Upston says
Pattrick Smellie | Tue, 10 May 2016

By Pattrick Smellie May 10 (BusinessDesk) - A new official survey intended to show the extent of foreign investment in New Zealand property has produced data with "clear limitations" that are "not ideal", Land Information Minister Louise Upston says. Touted originally by th...


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